My first time in Santa Barbara and my first time meeting this couple. Who would have guessed that I’d fall in love with both?  Dena, the soon to be bride, knows that exact feeling. Several years ago, she saw Adam across a crowded room and knew she had to talk to him. After that night, there was no going back to life without him in it! I know you’ve experienced this too… the mystery of love at first sight. Life presents us with people and places that immediately feel like home. People and places that are technically new, but feel as familiar as our memories themselves. Two hours later, I felt like Adam and Dena were old friends or college buddies. My mind wasn’t even registering the fact that I wouldn’t be attending their wedding as a guest! (No one can fault me for not being emotionally involved with my clients.) Thankfully I will be at the wedding and I am SO excited to be photographing the day for them. Look at these photos and you’ll understand why! 

Ruthie_0088 Ruthie_0089 Ruthie_0090 Ruthie_0091 Ruthie_0093 Ruthie_0094 Ruthie_0095 Ruthie_0096 Ruthie_0097 Ruthie_0098 Ruthie_0099 Ruthie_0100 Ruthie_0101 Ruthie_0102 Ruthie_0103 Ruthie_0104 Ruthie_0105 Ruthie_0106

Crase Family (1) Crase Family (2) Crase Family (3) Crase Family (4) Crase Family (5) Crase Family (6) Crase Family (7)

I’m not going to rant on about why you need to get your digital images printed, but here’s the deal. You need to get some of those moments off of your CD or hard drive and onto paper. Fill frames, hang a canvas, design and print a book. Seriously. If you need help with how or what to do with your images, ask your photographer. If you didn’t have a photographer, ask me, I’d love to help!

Ok, so you take baby step 1 and you order some prints online to put in the frames around your house. You read the back of the frames so you knew what size to ask for, you clicked order, and now you have an envelope of prints in your hands. Awesome! You know what’s not awesome? You’re leafing through your images, totally excited to hang them, and you get this nagging feeling that they don’t quite look like the photos you ordered. Somethings missing. So you pull up the photo on your computer and lo and behold, you are right! The printer has cut a whole side off of your image. What?? Do you send them back and ask for a reprint? I’m going to take a wild guess here and say that even if you DID ask for a reprint, they would still come back with parts missing. Why? Because of print sizes and aspect ratios. That’s what I want to talk about today.

You see, over the course of the photograph’s history, there hasn’t been a “standard” size for prints. Originally, every camera used a different sized negative, which meant it created different sized images. The most recently common negative was  the 35mm, and it’s long side was 1.5 times the length of it’s short side. Digital cameras are now (mostly) standardized to create images that are the same ratio as the 35mm negative. A digital camera creates images that are 1.5 times wider than it is tall. This is where the print problem comes in. While cameras all create the same shaped image (with a ratio of 2:3), print sizes, frames, and canvases can be created in a myriad different sizes.In fact, there are at least four common sized prints that are all differently shaped.

The most common sized print is the 4 inch by 6 inch print. (4×6) This is the size that you and your mom slipped into photo albums. It is the same shape (2:3 ratio) as the 35mm negative and the digital camera image.

The 5 inch by 7 inch print (5×7) was designed as an intermediate sized print and is often used for table top frames. It’s an odd shape and one of a kind.

The 8 inch by 10 inch print (8×10) is also an entirely different shape and is often used in table top frames and to hang on walls.

These three print sizes are all different shapes, so when printing an image that has the 2:3 ratio, the printer has to chop part of the image off to make it fill the shape of the print you are getting. Got it? Yeah, it’s a little confusing so I made a visual representation of how this works:

A Quick Look At Print SIzes

So what do you do when you order prints then? Having the ability to print different sizes and shapes is amazing and not something to be complained about. All you need to know is that it happens, and that there is a way to double check that you’re not losing something important like a head or an arm or something in the photo. Most print places will have a way for you to choose exactly what parts of your image you want to cut off for your particular print size and shape. They use the term “crop”, and when you push the crop button, it will show you exactly what part of the image will be printed and allow you to move it all around until you’re satisfied. That way, you can make lots of beautiful prints and be completely satisfied when you get them.

Happy printing!!

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